Watchuseek Blog

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Clear as a bell: The Seiko Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater

This is a very special timepiece that has two cases; an inner one for the movement, and an outer one. The gongs are located in the space between these two cases, to achieve a clear and rich sound.

Just how special is it? Nearly $500,000 worth of special, and so incredibly intricate that Seiko releases only around three of them each year. The watch was introduced by Seiko President and CEO, Mr. Shinji Hattori at Baselworld 2011 just shortly after the Japanese earthquake.

In every aspect of its creation, total purity of sound has been the goal. The result is a lingering, clear and haunting sound which has a uniquely Japanese character.

This beautiful sound has been achieved by the magic of the totally silent Spring Drive mechanism allied to the use of a special steel forged by a celebrated Japanese steelmaker, Munemichi Myochin. For fifty two unbroken generations, members of his family have been master blacksmiths and they have been making steel for over 850 years.

While most minute repeaters follow the traditional hour, quarter and minute system, the Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater has a decimal system. The hammers strike the hour, ten-minute and one-minute sounds. This system was chosen as being more in keeping with the high technology character of the movement.

It is perfectly logical and simple. At one fifty nine, the hour sound is struck once, the ten-minute sound is struck five times and the one-minute sound is struck nine times.

Treat yourself to the clarity and resonance of the Seiko chimes, then compare it to the legendary Patek Philippe Ref 5016 Minute Repeater. Which do you prefer?


Ref. GBLS998
Movement : Calibre 7R11. Manual winding. Decimal minute repeater.
Jewels: 112 jewels
Power reserve: 72 hours (without using the minute repeater mechanism)
Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month
Movement : Diameter 36.6 mm, thickness: 7.8 mm
Case: 18 carat rose gold. See-through caseback with sapphire crystal. 42.8mm diameter,14.0mm thickness
Band: Crocodile with 18 karat rose gold three-fold clasp and push button release
Crystal: Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating

Both videos courtesy of

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ice cool: Breitling for Bentley Supersports ISR LE watch

ISR. That’s Ice Speed Record to you. On February 18th 2011, in the north of Finland, a special version of the Bentley Continental GTC Supersports convertible set a new ice speed record at 205.46 mph (330.695 km/h).

By testing its fastest and most reliable car ever in such extreme conditions, Bentley proved its supremacy in terms of technology and engine performance.
Throughout the speed record breaking attempt, driver Juha Kankkunen had the new Breitling for Bentley watch on his wrist.

Breitling for Bentley has created a limited edition of the watch that was part of the record-breaking achievement and has named it Bentley Supersports ISR.

Like other watches in the Breitling for Bentley range it exudes a distinct blend of British chic and Swiss expertise.

The high-performance chronograph is distinguished by its light and sturdy titanium chassis, its red-accented dashboard-style carbon fibre dial and its raised knurled bezel, inspired by Bentley control buttons.

The self winding “motor” chronometer is COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) certified and drives a double-counter system as well as a twin-handed totaliser which reads off the elapsed hours and minutes at a glance.

But just before you dash down to your local Breitling dealer to snap one up, the watch is to be issued in a 100-piece limited series,  available exclusively to the 100 privileged purchasers of the Continental Supersports Convertible ISR – the commemorative edition car based on the Bentley that accomplished the record-breaking feat. The outline of the vehicle is engraved on the watch caseback.

Friday, November 25, 2011

GRAHAM Silverstone Stowe Racing Limited Edition

If it’s attention you’re after no one will miss this bright canary yellow monster from GRAHAM on your wrist.

The watch takes its name from Stowe Corner which is one of the fastest on the legendary British Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. The drivers arrive at 300 km/h from the Hanger straight, tap the brakes and launch in towards the apex in 4th gear.

In addition to showing the hours, minutes and seconds, the watch sports 30-minute and 60-second chronograph counters, a tachymeter scale - useful for calculating speed over a given distance. The watch distinguishes itself by its sporty carbon fibre dial base, enhanced by an unmissable yellow rim with minute scale.

The crown is secured by an additional hexagonal bolt, whereas the oval pushers for the chronograph controls bear the same sure grip surface as the pedals of a racing car.

The watch is powered by the GRAHAM bi-compax chronograph movement, with a 48-hour power reserve. It comes on a thick wedge of a black tyre tread rubber strap and is limited to just 250 pieces, so the race is on to get hold of one.

Features include:

•    48 mm steel case
•    Calibre G1721, automatic bi-compax chronograph, flyback, 28 jewels, 28’800
•    A/h (4Hz), Incabloc shock absorber, 48 hours power reserve,
•    Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both faces,
•    See-through sapphire case back with limited edition serial number
•    Black tyre tread rubber strap with yellow inset

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Naughty but nice: Perrelet Turbine Erotic Limited Edition

Those naughty people at Perrelet have just announced a sexy, saucy limited edition erotic version of their popular Turbine.

Regular surfers of the many XXX streaming video sites will discover that one of the category offerings to be enjoyed is Anime Hentai, which is essentially Japanese animated pornography complete with squeaky schoolgirl moans and groans as the innocent girls are brutally molested. This is the stuff that tends to turn Japanese guys on.

Sporting black and white hues with a hint of red, the dials take their inspiration from this form of Manga art. As the turbine spins it creates something of a peep show and reveals the images via (ahem) rapid wrist movement.

The watches are 44mm wide in DLC black coated steel or titanium. They run on Perrelet automatic  P-181 movements and are fitted with a rubber strap.

Perrelet have released 8 different editions of the Turbine Erotic watches, each limited to just 88 pieces. It’s easy to see what is going on here with regards to the numbers – 888 is a deeply auspicious number in the Far East promising financial good fortune.

Each of the four dial styles is available with a DLC steel or titanium case. A bold and unusual novelty from Perrelet, which is bound to have more than its fair share of ardent admirers.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Funny Valentine: Oris Chet Baker Limited Edition

Oris recently launched the Chet Baker Limited Edition at a party hosted at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London’s Soho.

The watch is a tribute to the musical talent of Baker,delivering what Oris describes as an aura of sophistication and Oris refinement, with a musical twist.

A talented musician, Baker became renowned for his varied renditions of “My Funny Valentine”- a song with which he became intimately associated for the rest of his career. 

A maverick musican

It’s understandable that any brand paying tribute to Baker would wish to airbrush out the decades of heroin addiction which defined and ultimately destroyed much of his career, but it is nonethless an indelible part of the Chet Baker story, and it often got ugly.

Like the time in 1966 when he was beaten up in San Francisco while trying to buy drugs. The savage beating caused him to have his teeth knocked out, leaving him unable to play the trumpet. This forced him to spend months taking odd jobs such as pumping gas until such time as he finally managed to save up enough money to buy dentures and rekindle his career.

In this overly managed, overly protective show biz world we know today, none of this would have been allowed to happen, but Baker’s story is all the richer and more poignant for it.

Baker eventually became equally famous for his vocal than his trumpet playing, but not without much flak from jazz purists.

From 1978 until his death, Baker resided and played almost exclusively in Europe, returning to the USA roughly once per year for a few performance dates. Baker's most prolific era as a recording artist was 1978-88. But much of his output is strewn across numerous, mostly small European labels, and none of these recordings ever reached a wider audience.

The Chet Baker Limited Edition

The watch features a stainless steel case, with double curved sapphire crystal and a non reflective coating on the inside. The engraved case back features a silhouette of Baker with his trumpet, and the watches limited number, 1929 - the year of Baker’s birth.

The musical theme of the timepiece is continued on the face of the watch. The crisp black dial provides a smooth backdrop for the hour indexes which are bars from the song “My Funny Valentine”. The 12 o’clock position features a clef, while the double bar line at 8 o’clock represents the first eight bars of the song which have to be repeated.

The watch coms on a black leather strap with crocodile imprint, and a stainless steel folding clasp ensures it stays secure.

The Chet Baker Limited Edition is presented in a box with a mechanically driven metronome, the perfect finish to an elegant timepiece, and kudos to Oris for selecting this non mainstream maverick musician as a subject for a tribute watch.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A tale of Tang: Longio Saluzi Limited Edition watch

There’s a no doubt fascinating and deeply symbolic tale to accompany the concept behind this watch, but deciphering it from the Chinese –English translation is no easy matter.

What we do know is that seventh century ruler Li Shi Min epitomised success and versatility. As a founding father of the Tang Dynasty he ruled the country in an open minded and humane manner. He was ambitious, intelligent, adroit and diligent. Li Shi Min would become Emperor Taizong, co-founder with his father of the Tang Dynasty, ruling from 629 to 649.

The legend goes that Li Shi Min’s faithful horse Saluzi was injured one day in battle when several arrows were fired at him. Li Shi Min’s brave General, General QiuHanggong, who was accompanying the Emperor, fired arrows at the enemy cavalry to keep them at bay and once back at camp proceeded to pull the arrows from the wounded Saluzi so as to save him.

Longio Saluzi

The Longio Saluzi, shown above as a prototype, has been created in a limited edition of just 200 pieces. The intricate wooden carving on the dial of the watch commemorates this act of bravery and loyalty by both horse and commanding General.

As proof that this is a genuine part of Tang Dynasty military history, the same carving – this time from stone – forms part of a valuable collection of carvings known as the Six Steeds of Zhaoling Mausoleum.

Longio Watches

As for Longio Watches, they are definitely a new horological dynasty in the making, and the clear intention is to rival Switzerland for quality of craftsmanship, concept and design but with a distinctly Chinese flair and culture.

Longio Watch Company was established in 1996 and specialise in manufacturing high quality mechanical timepieces and luxury tourbillon watches. They also supply parts for export worldwide. Every aspect of the manufacturing process all closely controlled by  skilled engineers. The name may be unfamiliar for now, but expect to hear lot more from Longio.

Friday, November 18, 2011

TAG Heuer Mikrograph is Watch of the Year 2011

November 11 2011: The Watch of the Year evening organised by the Ringier Group in Geneva, saw TAG Heuer receive two prestigious recognitions from an audience of over 450 personalities from the world of watchmaking and communications.

The Mikrograph, the first chronograph to display one hundredth of a second, thanks to a central hand, was awarded the best watch of the year by the public, whilst the campaign that supported its launch was awarded the Best Campaign prize.

It is viewed as overwhelming recognition for the brand, the only one to receive two visits to the podium during the evening.

“I am incredibly proud of my people: those who developed the Mikrograph as well as those who designed the advertising visuals that made it stand out. For such an innovative watch, we needed a campaign that would also break the mould, by dramatically staging the notion of precision in an original and creative manner”
Jean-Christophe Babin, Tag Heuer’s President and CEO
Designed, patented, developed and manufactured entirely in the TAG Heuer Haute Horlogerie workshop at La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Carrera Mikrograph 1/100th marks a milestone in the watchmaking industry: thanks to an escapement beating at 50hz, or 360,000 vibrations an hour, its central hand can measure and display time with 100th of a second precision.

Two limited editions were launched on the market with 150 pieces each, one with a brown central dial and the other in anthracite grey.

TAG Heuer Mikrograph advertising

The advertising to support the launch of the Mikrograph is creative, avant-garde and unexpected. The message of instant and precise timing was demonstrated powerfully and and memorably using animal speed and accuracy metaphors.

The campaign was developed by Art Director Mark Forgan, and Writer Jamie Standen of France based CLM BBDO,  TAG Heuer’s advertising agency.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

German Chancellor’s Rolex fetches $171,760.00 at Sotheby’s

We know things are not exactly rosy in the Eurozone these days, however that is not the reason why former German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s Rolex Ref 6305/1 has been sold off.

This historic 18K yellow gold automatic centre seconds wristwatch with date and bracelet (ref. 6305/1) was sought after by at least three bidders in the room. 

After five minutes of competitive bidding, the hammer finally came down on lot 132 with a final price of $171,760, almost tripling the pre-sale estimate of $66,500-89,000.

Presented to the then German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1955, this historic watch has been kept in its original condition by the Chancellor’s descendants and appeared tonight for the first time on the market.

Engraved on the back with Konrad Adenauer’s name, the watch is accompanied by its original leather folder and a letter dated 16 September 1955 from Rolex’s founder Hans Wilsdorf to the German Chancellor.

Sotheby’s autumn sale of Important Watches brought in $7,231,524. Strong prices were achieved for highly complicated timepieces and vintage wristwatches.

Tracing the development of watchmaking from 1574 to the present day, the sale also confirmed strong interest from international collectors for antique pocket watches.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

She’s a rainbow: Graham Swordfish Booster Iris

Graham Watches, noted in recent times more for their focus on a range of superior motor racing oriented timepieces such as the Graham GP Timezone and the Graham Silverstone Stowe GMT, has introduced a new watch model; Swordfish Booster Iris with a range of rich iridescent colours unique to each watch.

All the colours of the rainbow 

Translated from the Latin Iris means ‘rainbow’ and the constantly shifting rainbow effect is obtained not by paint but through the interference of light waves through a thin, multi-layered coating. A similar effect can be seen on the surface of a soap bubble or in oil slicks on the floor of your local motor mechanic shop.

How it’s achieved

The constantly changing colours are achieved through the use of complex structure oxide layers. Steel casing and other components of the watch are placed in a large vacuum chamber, which produces plasma reactions. The unique coating comprises a multilayer structure that provides overlaying ultrathin films, one on top of the other. A thicker layer over the entire surface causes a change of colours in reflected light.

48mm case, 48 hour power reserve

The steel case is an impressive 48 mm with black PVD coating and interferential substrate (to create the iridescent effect) with two portholes at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, and a black mother-of-pearl dial with black Super-LumiNova.

The watch runs on a calibre G1710, automatic bi-compax chronograph movement, 34 jewels, 28’800 A/h (4Hz), with a 48 hours power reserve.

The sapphire case back is see through and the watch comes on an integrated green crocodile strap, waterproof to 100 metres.

The rainbow effect of the Iris Booster can be yours for around US$16,398. If it's beyond your budget there's always your mechanic's workshop floor to gaze upon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jean Richard Highlands Big Life Limited Edition

Jean Richard released a Highlands special edition watch in 1990 with the stunning photography of Peter Beard. Now for 2011, Jean Richard launches a new Highlands watch – called Highlands Big Life in support of the Big Life Foundation  - in partnership with British photographer Nick Brandt.


The watch comes in a limited edition of 100 pieces and features a PVD-coated case twinned with a green outer rotating bezel indicating a second time zone.

The numerals on the black dial are coated with ivory-coloured luminescent material, and the “ Big Life ” signature in red makes the model’s purpose clear: to support the foundation.

A striking symbol inspired by the foundation’s logo and one of Nick Brandt’s most iconic photos, an elephant transfer, appears on the sapphire crystal case-back, through which the JR1000 automatic winding movement can be seen.

The watch has been designed with the most demanding outdoor usage in mind. The colours used and the absence of reflection make it ideal for use on a photographic safari.

The black fabric strap mounted on a folding buckle confirms the robust character of the Highlands Big Life.

About Nick Brandt

Nick Brandt is a British photographer who specialises in intimate portraits of animals of the African savannah. His approach is a far cry from the animal shots seen in traditional colour documentary photography. Nick Brandt does not use a telephoto lens, which means all his animal portraits are taken at close quarters, enabling him to capture the true character of the subject. His spectacular panoramic shots document animals in their natural surroundings, and are reminiscent of the studio portraits of the early 20th century.

Big Life Foundation

Created in 2010 in response to a dramatic rise in poaching across Africa, Big Life Foundation is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to preserve the fauna and ecosystem of Africa.

Home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa and under serious threat from poachers, the Amboseli region, which straddles Kenya and Tanzania, has become the foundation’s number one large-scale concern. Multiple mobile teams of anti-poaching rangers have been deployed to most-of-risk areas of this vast region.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate heaven : Chopard L.U.C XPS Poinçon de Genève 125th Anniversary LE watch

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the “Poinçon de Genève” a quality seal that has guaranteed the excellence of Genevan watchmaking since 1886, this new commemorative model has been issued in a limited numbered series of 125; one for each year since the creation of the Poinçon de Genève.

About Poinçon de Genève

This quality hallmark is an all-in-one guarantee of origin, craftsmanship and durability. A watch is only eligible if its movement is assembled and adjusted in Canton Geneva, if it is numbered, and if it meets the exacting craftsmanship criteria established by the Technical Committee.

In-house movement

The watch is powered by Chopard’s in-house L.U.C Calibre 96.01-L (L.U.C 1.96). Despite its elegant 3.3mm thickness, this self-winding movement, (naturally bearing the celebrated certification), offers a date display and twin barrels with a 65 hour power reserve.

The exceptional calibre is also chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute and clearly visible through the transparent case-back.

Chocolate-brown sunburst dial

This 18-karat rose gold watch features a beautifully rich chocolate-brown sunburst satin-brushed dial bearing the 'Poinçon de Genève' logo at 12 o’clock. Both the L.U.C 1.96 movement and its bridges are adorned with “Côtes de Genève” and can be viewed through the sapphire crystal case-back.

The L.U.C XPS – Poinçon de Genève 125th Anniversary Edition is also certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).


• 18-karat rose gold
• Total diameter: 39.50 mm
• Thickness: 7.13 mm
• Water resistance: 30 meters
• 18-karat rose gold crown with L.U.C logo: 4.00 mm
• Glareproofed sapphire crystal
• Exhibition back fitted with glareproofed sapphire crystal

• Mechanical self-winding – L.U.C 96.01-L (L.U.C 1.96)
• Total diameter: 27.40 mm
• Thickness: 3.30 mm
• Number of jewels: 29
• Frequency: 28,800 vph
• Power reserve: 65 hours
• Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève
• 2 barrels, Twin technology
• Chronometer-certified (COSC)

Dial and hands:

• Brown sunburst satin-brushed dial with “Poinçon de Genève” logo
• Gold-toned hour-markers
• Gold-toned Dauphine-type hours and minute hands
• Gold-toned baton-type seconds hand

Functions and displays:
• Central display of the hours and minutes
• Small seconds at 6 o’clock
• Date at 3 o’clock

Strap and buckle:
• Hand-sewn matte brown alligator leather strap
• 18-carat rose gold pin buckle


Thursday, November 10, 2011

We love a bet: Christophe Claret sponsors World Series Poker Championship Finalist

It just goes to show that the Manufacture Christophe Claret not only knows how to make a superb bet making watch, they also love a bet. The manufacture has just announced their decision to sponsor Badih “Bob” Bounahra, one of the best No-Limit Holdem poker players on the planet.

Originally from Lebanon but living in Belize, 49 year old Bounahra will be the first citizen of Belize to participate in the WSOP Main Event Final Table this November. 

Badih 'Bob' Bounahra, WSOP Main Event Finalist

The event is to card games what the Masters is to tennis – the final confrontation of the best competitors in the world – accompanied by substantial financial reward, the famous gold bracelet and the title of world champion.

6,865 players started Day 1 of the WSOP Main Event 2011.

They played for eight long days until only nine players remained – known as The November Nine.

Amongst them was Badih Bounahra, who was something of a surprise ‘wildcard’ due to his non-professional status.

Precisely because Bounahra is a non professional, and because he plays the game more for the thrill and the fun of it, Christophe Claret decided to sponsor him not only for the 2011 WSOP Main Event, but for the long haul.

Bob Bounahra will wear the watchmaker’s Soleil d’Or emblem and a 21 Blackjack on his wrist – the interactive watch with fun complications that was launched last spring at Baselworld.

At the last world watchmaking fair, Christophe Claret’s most recent creation created a huge stir with its original presentation of three completely new complications in the form of casino games – dice, cards and roulette, all in addition to the watch’s usual hour and minute functions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hublot and Ferrari partner up

Another day another incredible deal for Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver. The latest is a particularly big one.

Saturday last under cloudy Florentine skies, Ferrari President Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot S.A., arrived at Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, the practice track for Scuderia Ferrari, to make an announcement bright with promise:

Officially Hublot will now be the “watch and timekeeper of Ferrari,” as well as the “timekeeper of Scuderia Ferrari,” the company's racing arm. In addition to an ongoing series of limited-edition wristwatches, Ferrari President Luca Cordero di Montezemolo indicated at the press conference that future Ferrari models could be fitted with Hublot dash clocks.

Hublot becomes the fourth luxury watchmaker granted the honour of adorning the iconic Ferrari prancing horse emblem, joining Girard Perregaux (Ferrari Collection 1994 to 2004), Panerai (“Ferrari engineered by Panerai” 2005-10) and Cabestan (2010 Scuderia Ferrari One, a very limited-edition, one-off project).

Prior to the press conference, Jean-Claude Biver shed some light on the impetus for the project. Biver explained that neither he nor Montezemolo came up with the idea for the partnership but rather his friend and Fiat scion Lapo Elkann--who is the manager of brand promotion at Fiat and who has also held positions at Ferrari and Maserati.

When asked to comment on what many in the watch industry perceive as Panerai's conspicuous failure as Ferrari's watch partner, Biver was candid: “I think their collection was too big which equates to a big investment, big inventory and ultimately big risk. Hublot and Ferrari will start out slower.”

He went on to explain that Panerai's lack of success was really the result of the collaboration's deficiency in “substance.” “It had no Ferrari DNA,” he said. “It was a marketing relationship, it was 100% Panerai DNA with a Ferrari logo on the dial.”

Biver and his team will debut their first Hublot Ferrari vision at the BaselWorld watch trade fair in mid-March 2012.

Biver hinted during the press conference that the watch might incorporate a proprietary “Ferrari red” ceramic, although Montezemolo playfully reminded him to consider some of Ferrari's other historical colours, such as yellow.

Hublot was one of the true innovators of incorporating industrial-grade ceramic in luxury timepieces. Prices for forthcoming watches was not made available.

Monday, November 7, 2011

'I see a Rolex and I want to paint it black'

Looks like I am going to have to add another venue to my forthcoming trip to Hong Kong. Guru Pop-up store, at the Landmark in Hong Kong’s Central area have just opened for business and to celebrate it they commissioned special edition Bamford X Guru watches – actually Rolex DEEPSEA blackened watches from luxury watch blackening specialist, photographer and watch designer George Bamford.

 As Bamford’s website reports, for a man, luxury watches are not a symbol of identity but also a reflection of style and taste. While most people would opt for the more classic and traditional designs, George Bamford went the the extra mile in making luxury watches a true representation of individuality – by blackening luxury watches.

Bamford Watch Department

The Bamford Watch Department, more than anyone, is responsible for the new craze for blackening luxury timepieces.

 Bamford began colouring watches black 10 years ago simply because he wanted something unique and personal.

“I heard about this beautiful painted black Rolex that was made for the South African military (painted black so they could use it in camouflage operations). I loved the mythical idea of this watch and decided to make my own.”

Bamford first experimented with the blackening process by using military grade physical vapour deposition (PVD) on vintage watches and the product turned out to be unique and successful.

 Sold out

Of course if everyone starts to blacken luxury watches it will inevitably start to lose that individual look, but for the time being the idea is very much 'in the black'. The black watches his company produces are sold out as soon as they land in stores and are also fetching high prices at auction.

For example, the Bamford & Sons Black PVD Rolex Daytona sold for US$48,000 at an Antiquorum auction in 2008.

If you want to blacken your own luxury watch (it doesn’t have to be a Rolex) just visit the website and place the order. The watch will take around six to eight weeks to deliver. The blackening process will not affect the inner mechanism of the watch and Bamford will offer its own lifetime guarantee and service for the watch.

The Guru pop-up store in Hong Kong will be offering a special Guru X Bamford edition possibly with the attache case shown in the picture.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Heading for a Fall: Cool accessories to match with your aviator's watch

There’s snow in New York, and a definite chill settling around much of Europe – and we’re not just talking about the Eurozone crisis. The cooler weather presents a perfect excuse to wrap up in something warmer, and few things look hotter than US air force aviation style accessories matched with a top quality aviation watch of the distinctly retro kind launched by English/Swiss manufacture Bremont, and French/Swiss manufacture Bell & Ross during 2011.

Wings of Gold Antique Cowhide G-1 Flight Jacket

This awesome leather jacket is based on the WWII pattern and features a mouton fur collar, two front cargo pockets with a hidden pen slot under the left pocket's flap, a bi-swing back for freedom of movement, knit cuffs and waistband, an interior pocket, inside the windflap with "USN" perforation, and a heavy duty antiqued brass zipper. The interior is satin nylon with a large Wings of Gold insignia across it. Price $454 at US Wings.

US Wings American Optical Aviator Sunglasses

The sun is a whole lot lower in the Fall, with powerful beams of sunlight flooding through your windshield as early as 7am and sticking round until 10am, making drive time traffic a nightmare. Cue these impossibly cool American Optical aviator sunglasses. They first made their debut as early as the 1930s. However, it was in 1958 that the Flight Goggle 58, now known as the Original Pilot Sunglass, was produced for the US Military to provide maximum protection, optical performance and comfort. More than 40 years have passed and the Original Pilot Sunglass is still the preferred aviator sunglass of all US Military branches. Price $54.95 at US Wings

Bremont P-51 LE Chronograph

The Bremont P-51 is a chronograph chronometer built with original parts from the famous 1944 Mustang WWII aircraft P-51K-10 (serial number 44-12016), a Pacific war veteran that bore the name “Fragile but Agile”. The watch runs on a modified Swiss BE-54A automatic chronometer movement that also shows UTC time and has a 42-hour power reserve. A date display is positioned at the 4 oclock mark and a 30-minute counter is positioned below 12 o’clock. The only problem is the watch is limited to only 251 pieces so it’s really tough to get your hands on one. Price $11,900

Bell & Ross WWI-92 Heritage

In the event you can’t grab a Bremont P-51, fear not, the equally alluring Bell & Ross WWI-92 Heritage collection is here. Bell & Ross have designed a WWI-inspired watch that marks a departure from their mostly square silhouettes. The watch features a bold round-face and tan leather strap that stands out, but looks aviation cool at all times. The white stitching is an added touch that reinforces the rugged appeal of this heritage piece, and the strap will form a rich patina over time to add to its authenticity. Price $3,520

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rolling back the boundaries: Blancpain X Fathoms diver

The world’s largest aquarium, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in the Dubai Mall, was the chosen venue of Blancpain CEO Marc Hayek for the launch of Blancpain’s prestigious new diving watch, the X Fathoms.

The X Fathoms is a mechanical depth gauge with several world firsts to create what Blancpain describes as the most high-performance mechanical diving watch ever made.

World firsts

- Measured depth up to 90 metres
- Maximum depth reached memory
- Separate indication on the 0-15m scale with an +/- 30 cm precision
- Retrograde 5-minute counter for decompression stops

Five day power reserve

The Fathom X movement, reference 9918B, is based on the in house calibre 1315, the same movement used in the Fifty Fathoms models.

The self-winding movement is equipped with three barrels which provide a five-day power reserve, and a silicon balance-spring to withstand magnetic disturbances.

The impressive 55.65mm case is made of satin-brushed titanium and is water-resistant to 30 bar or 300 metres. The X Fathoms also features a helium decompression valve for saturation diving.

Amorphous metal

The amorphous metal chosen for the depth gauge membrane was used for the material’s elastic properties and resistance to permanent deformation.

The metal used allows the thickness of the membrane to be reduced by half compared to steel, and yields a gain in precision. The long-term stability of amorphous metal avoids the risk of microcrack formation.  Blancpain states that the individual calibration of each X Fathoms guarantees the precision of the depth indications.

Underwater legibility is excellent thanks to central depth indication hands set against a matte black background which enhance contrast. The three-colour luminescence is also a powerful aid underwater.

The Blancpain X Fathoms comes on a rubber strap claimed by Blancpain to be the most complex injected rubber strap ever conceived.

It comprises 14 articulated parts to ensure a perfect fit on the wrist and allows water to seep in under the watch in order to come in contact with the membrane in all situations.

No prices supplied as yet.


Calibre: 9918B
Calibre Diameter: 36.00 mm
Calibre Thickness: 13.00 mm
Power-reserve: 120 hours
Jewels: 44
Components: 385

Case: Satin-brushed titanium
Case Diameter: 55.65 mm
Case Thickness: 24.00 mm
Water-resistance: 30 bars
Interhorn space: 22.60 mm

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Limited Edition IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronometer launched in Spain

 A new limited edition IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph built to commemorate the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race, dubbed the "Everest of Sailing has been officially launched in Spain.
The race winners will each receive the water proof chronographs especially built for yachting, and it’s the first IWC Portuguese chronograph to be built in titanium. In another first, IWC is the Official Sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team, and makes its debut in team sport.

The ‘Everest of sailing’
It's probably the toughest and most spectacular of all offshore races. The Volvo Ocean Race gets under way with the In-Port Race at the Spanish port of Alicante and takes in six continents and four oceans before the crews tie up for the last time in the summer of 2012 in Galway, Ireland. 

In the course of the voyage of 39,270 nautical miles (72,728 km) through some of the world’s most treacherous waters, the crews can look forward to extreme challenges and adrenaline rushes in their battle against ice-cold storms, 15-metre-high waves and spirit sapping calms. The 11-strong crews will be living on minimal sleep, with virtually no privacy and on nothing but freeze-dried meals.

The IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition "Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012"

This functional, reliable and elegant sports watch is made for the first time of titanium. With water-resistance to 6 bar and a screw-in crown with crown protection, the watch is equipped with the IWC-manufactured 89361-calibre movement with a full 68 hour power reserve, is a robust and advanced chronograph movement, and features a fly back function as well as an analogue display with two hands in a sub dial for long stop times. 

The watch comes on a black rubber strap with a folding clasp. 

The sapphire-glass back allows sight of IWC’s double-pawl winding, and the caseback is engraved with the words “Edition Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012”

Luminescent hands and indices combined with the 45mm dial, give the new IWC Portuguese a commanding and contemporary design.


  • Mechanical chronograph movement
  • Stopwatch function with hours minutes and seconds
  • Hour and minute counters combined in a single totaliser at 12 o’clock
  • Small hacking seconds
  • Flyback function
  • Date display
  • Calibre: 89361
  • Beats: 28,800/h
  • Jewels: 38
  • Power reserve: 68 h
  • Winding: automatic
  • Materials: titanium case, carbon-black dial, black rubber strap, folding clasp in stainless steel
  • Glass: sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
  • Back: transparent sapphire-glass back
  • Crown: screw-in
  • Water-resistant: 6 bar
  • Diameter: 45.4 mm
  • Height: 14.5 mm

Featured watch brands

Casio Edifice

Blog archive

RSS feeds

Watchuseek sponsors